By Chris Schisler
It’s time to look at the NFL week 1 slate and makes some picks. Winners will be highlighted in Purple text:
NFL Kickoff game: Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In the first game of the NFL slate, I have to go with Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions. They’re going to be backed by a fanbase that is still celebrating their team’s win of the Lombardi Trophy. This is supposed to be Tampa Bay’s party. While I think Dak Prescott could give the Buccaneers a push, the Cowboys’ defense won’t get enough stops.
NFL Sunday games:
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
I don’t have confidence in either team here. These teams could easily pick number one and number two overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. Give me the Texans here. They’re at home. I expect some growing pains from Trevor Lawrence as a rookie quarterback. I also don’t think Urban Myer gets it at the NFL level. This is a game I won’t want to flip to on Sunday.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Washington Football Team
A lot of people would probably roll with Justin Herbert in this game. I’m going with the best defensive line in football to give the Chargers a tough game to deal with. Ryan Fitzpatrick gives the Washington offense just enough legitimacy to make Washington one of the dark horse contenders in the NFC.
Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts
If Carson Wentz is good to go for this game, it could be one of the best games of the week. I don’t have a ton of confidence in the Seahawks’ defense. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, I don’t have much confidence in Wentz either. I think Russell Wilson is the biggest difference-maker in this game, so I’m going with Seattle.
New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers
This is another game I don’t feel great about. Both teams have major question marks heading into the season. While I think Christian Mccaffery is the best player in the game, I have no confidence in the Panthers. Zach Wilson has a good game to start with as the Panthers were bad on defense last year. The Panthers’ defense is young and still coming together. Give me the Jets.
Minnesota Vikings @ Cincinnati Bengals
This may count as a surprise win for the Bengals. I think Joe Burrow has an impressive outing to start the season. I bought into the Vikings last year. I’m not trying to make the same mistake again and the Bengals have a lot of talent on offense. I don’t trust the Bengals’ offensive line much. I do however like the skill position players of the Bengals vs. the defensive backs of the Vikings.
Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans
This is a game I expect to be a shootout. The Titans and the Cardinals have two defenses that aren’t very hyped going into the season. This game is all about the offense. I think Ryan Tannehill has the firepower designed for this kind of game. The difference however will be that the Cardinals won’t be able to slow down Derrick Henry.
San Francisco 49ers @ Detroit Lions
The Lions aren’t good. They’re going to be a bad team. The 49ers have a chance to get back to their winning ways. Whether or not Trey Lance starts for the 49ers, San Francisco has new hope. Jared Goff is a downgrade for the Lions’ offense and the Lions will struggle to slow down the 49ers’ running game.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills
It’s not a secret that I want to pick the Bills here. You know me. It helps that the Bills got even better on defense and should dominate the offensive line of the Steelers. The Bills are going to be a dominant team in 2021. Their trajectory is pointed upward and they’re just the better team.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Look for Matt Ryan to get off to a good start in this game. Kyle Pitts is going to make an immediate impact for the Falcons offensively. The Falcons are good for blowing just about any lead, keep that in mind, but I have them winning this one.
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Browns are going to give the Chiefs a run for their money. In the end, I think Patrick Mahomes makes too many big plays for Cleveland to hold on to this one. The Browns should give the Ravens excellent tape to watch on their next opponent. I have Mahomes overpowering the Browns and Baker Mayfield not being able to keep up.
Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints
The Packers man. They had an offseason, didn’t they? Aaron Rodgers is back and it’s a good bet that he’ll be just as good as he was last year when he won the MVP. Without Drew Brees, I don’t know what to think of the Saints. I’m going with the team that has the best quarterback. I also think the pass rush of the Packers will force Jameis Winston into some mistakes.
Denver Broncos @ New York Giants
I think the Broncos take a step forward this season. The Giants probably are who we thought they were. Daniel Jones is okay. Saquan Barkley is good. At the end of the day, I don’t trust the Giants’ offensive line and the Broncos’ pass rush could take this game over.
Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are loaded with star power and now they have Matthew Stafford? They’re going to be good. It’s hard to say that about the Bears right now. I don’t think the Bears have the firepower to keep up with the Rams and this one could get out of hand.
Baltimore Ravens @ Las Vegas Raiders
I’ve already gone on record of saying that this will be a convincing win for the Ravens. I’m not backing down from that one. Lamar Jackson is going to show off almost as much as the Ravens defense will. We already have a lot of content to get you ready for this one, and there’s plenty more on the way!